Wow! This offseason already is more interesting than last year’s, and the free agent period has barely begun. The latest news: The Seattle Seahawks are sending Russell Wilson and a fourth-round pick to the Denver Broncos in exchange for Noah Fant, Drew Lock, two first-rounders, two second-rounders, a fifth-rounder, DL Shelby Harris, and perhaps an old acoustic guitar John Entwistle once played in the shower. Now that the dust has settled, what are the fantasy football impacts?
My PFN colleague Jason Katz has shared his wisdom on how the move affects the Broncos’ core players. So what does this mean for the Seahawks’ fantasy mainstays and newcomers?
DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett fantasy value in Seattle following Russell Wilson trade
Last season, we caught a glimpse of what life would be like in Seattle without Wilson, and it wasn’t pretty. After starting all 146 of the Seahawks’ regular-season games (plus 16 playoff games) to begin his career, Wilson was forced out of Week 4 with a dislocated finger. Backup Geno Smith then mustered two pedestrian outputs in losses to the Steelers and Saints before righting the ship against the hapless Jaguars.
In those first two games, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett combined for a 12-201-2 receiving line. Of course, Metcalf did far better than Lockett, but when we speak of these two, we know the deal: in any game, one or both could step up. And unless they’re playing a team like the Jaguars, it’s hard to envision both stepping up in the same contest.
We’re accustomed to thinking of these wideouts as WR1/2s. With Wilson throwing to them, they’ve enjoyed monster upside, the occasional disappearing acts, and enough “good” outings to keep them in the must-start tier. However, with Lock or someone comparable poised to be their QB in 2022, all bets are off. Their preseason ADP probably will hover in the 20s, and each will begin the season as boom-bust streamers.
Other fantasy value shifts following the Wilson trade
Noah Fant represents a solid get for Seattle, but how useful will he actually be? Backup Denver TE Albert Okwuegbunam frequently went toe-to-toe with Fant in the stats columns despite continually earning half the snap share.
Not that Fant isn’t a terrific young tight end (he is). But with Geno at the helm, the Seahawks had more receivers than they could feed (i.e., two, plus Gerald Everett). The presence of Fant seems like subtraction by addition. Everett — a pending free agent — loses his streaming appeal if he re-signs with the Seahawks. The receiving corps will be more muddled than ever and with a major question mark at QB.
And that question mark might be answered by Lock, a former favorite of John Elway who never panned out in Denver. With one more year on his cheap rookie contract, Lock gives the Seahawks another option as they look ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft. But for now, we cannot expect any currently rostered Seahawk QB to make fantasy waves this season.
Finally, this team will probably lean on the running game more heavily, though major question marks — including Chris Carson’s long-term health and Rashaad Penny’s contract status — throw this offense into more flux than at any time since they drafted Wilson. Wilson’s departure shouldn’t harm any Seattle RB’s fantasy prospects. But we need the fog hovering over this backfield to clear before making stronger declarations.